ADHD

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The In Between

Published August 24, 2017 by sarcasmica

Here’s the thing. People sometimes suck. They might not mean to, but we all do it. Yes, dear reader, sometimes even I fail to follow my own life motto of “don’t judge” and invariably suck once in a great while.

Today was not that day, however. Today it was someone else.

Let me tell you a little story.

Once upon a time there was a boy. (Oh lawdy, is she really going to speak about her son AGAIN?! We get it lady! ADHD, yea yea yea, sensory crap, blah blah blah. We know already!)

This boy was given a fancy diagnosis, but just a little one. There were much bigger diagnoses that lived in the realm, but this particular boy just got a little smidge of a few different labels. Nothing life-defining or life-threatening. He was lucky in that he was able to frolic about the kingdom talking day and night about his ideas and thoughts and questions and theories.

Day and night and night and day he talked. The Queen tried to find a device to safely remove her ears periodically, but alas none was found.

This boy grew into a handsome young man who knew his own limits and boundaries. Knew them so well, in fact, he often would question and challenge the grown ups around him.

Some grown ups turned into trolls when the boy was nearby. The Queen cannot vanquish them all, so instead she passively aggressively writes tapestries about it.

The End.

My kid had an eye appointment today. Big deal, right? Totally. Except he’s not a typical kid…. or maybe he is, I have no idea. He’s my oldest so (spoiler alert) we don’t know what we’re doing with the first kid yet. Kid 1 is essentially training for Kid 2 and opens that cool judgement door for other parents once you get a little vomit and spit under your belt.

My kid has been himself for a while now… 11 years to be exact. We know him well, he knows himself really well. So well that he has no trouble questioning the professionals that are supposed to help him. Some of these professionals take their jobs so seriously, in fact, that they fail to see that sometimes helping kids with patience and imagination is far more effective than checking off the task list and clocking out.

I’m being vague. I’m sorry. It’s late and I want to sleep, but the scenario that played out today will not stop rotating in my brain.

We get to the appointment. The tech does the measurement tests and the puff test and the whatever else that single machine does test. My kid is fine. The tech is awesome. No issues. We get into the exam room and meet the optometrist and I simply tell her “Hello, just so you know he has some sensory issues and it’s especially tough with bright lights.”

I’m met with a now very common expression of “Uh huh, uh huh, of course”. I go on to qualify, “So he may just need a minute to let his eyes water and he’ll need to rub them a bit, but he will be fine.”

At this point I feel like some people take this as a challenge. It’s as if they think they have the key to “help” my kid be better adjusted. Maybe I read into it too much, but it happens quite often and it’s the visual equivalent of enclosing your fist and cracking your knuckles to ‘get down to business’.

“Move aside lady! I’m gonna make this pansy ass boy into a proper MAN!”
“Just leave him with me for a week and you’ll see how it’s done”
“Sink or swim, lady, that’s what my parents did!”
“Back in my day we just called it like we saw it. Kids these days just need a firm hand”

I’ve heard it all. Guess what? It’s worth about as much as a Donald Trump bumper sticker. Bupkiss. Zilch.

She goes on with her very firm and pushy exam. She does the old, “better 1 or better 2” lens selection process.

I don’t know about you, but for me I usually have to ask the optometrists to slow down so I can actually make an informed choice. I’ve worn glasses my entire life and this is always an issue.

Now take a kid who has auditory processing difficulty. The cynic in me knows exactly what the response to that phrase I just said is. It’s a snort and a “PUH-LEASE! That’s just a fancy way of saying your kid doesn’t listen! This is every kid. Get real lady!”

And you’re totally right. You are. He doesn’t listen because the 27 channels of his own intelligent thoughts that are all coming through at once don’t really want to stop long enough to pay attention to the pushy, grumpy, caffeine-deficient “professional” who is barking strange directions at him.

Auditory Processing is something most regular folk don’t have to think about. You hear something, you either understand it or you don’t, and you move along. Guess what? That’s not a function that everyone has, believe it or not. Some people hear something and then actually need to take moments, minutes even, to literally allow it to sink in. Once it sinks in that does not guarantee action. Then you have to find the correct response within your overworked brain to speak out loud.

As mundane and ridiculous and “millennial” as some may think this is, please get over yourself and understand that it is in fact reality for a lot of people and children.

So instead of saying something very simple like, oh i don’t know, “I’m switching between 2 options and you can tell me which is better, 1 or 2?” [pause pause pause]

What happened was he sat at the lens selector and when she began he said, “Whoa! What the heck?”

her: “It’s just a ___ machine, now tell me which is better, 1 or 2?Better1or2?2or1?”

Like any of that sentence on it’s own, outside of an optometrist’s office, is logical phrased conversation.

He managed the whole thing and does a good job. She didn’t do anything inappropriate or out of line. There’s nothing I can technically complain about. I did not stop her and let him hear me make an excuse for his slower response time to her berating mannerisms. Every time we encounter another adult I do not need to qualify his presence with an explanation that “Just so you know, he has ADHD, so some things may not go according to your plan.” Do I get a heads up when someone is an asshole? “Just so you know, before you speak with this teller you should know that she’s kind of a bitch and she hates Mondays. Good luck!”? No, I don’t. People don’t come with warnings and neither should my kid. Just don’t suck!

Much like it was her lesson today to have some patience, it unfortunately was his lesson that sometimes grown ups who have a title aren’t always going to be compassionate and kind. Why? Because people sometimes suck. We don’t always get to report them, or write them up, or give them yelp stars. We don’t always have to leave comments when we aren’t happy with something. You have to deal with the sucky people wherever you go and whomever you become.

I do not speak about my son’s challenges because I need to justify anything. I speak about it because it’s our reality. There are so many parents who have to deal with tough, hard, incredibly difficult circumstances. We don’t have that, thank heavens. We instead have a nebulous quasi special needs, but more accurately, special considerations. My kid does not have hard fast rules about his limitations.  It’s more about the limitations others have on what they will accept or belittle by way of pushing, criticizing, judging an 11 year old’s reaction to the world.

If your work day includes interactions with a kid who you perceive as “difficult”, maybe change your perspective a little and see if you can’t learn something new. I’ve made it day in and day out with him 11 years, I think you can handle 40 minutes.

 

(Imagine the video of an impatient optometrist and an uncomfortable and squirrely kid is here since I refuse to pay wordpress more $ so upgrade my account just to support one simple video clip)

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Alien Evolution

Published March 24, 2017 by sarcasmica

Driving my son to fencing practice last night, he began talking about civilization. At first I thought it was just iPad withdrawal, but turns out he was going somewhere with it.

I have to paraphrase here because honestly, I wasn’t actually listening in the beginning. I tuned in off and on and it went something like this

“…. where we came from…”  “… like from another planet, because there are a lot of planets and we still don’t know everything that’s out there…”  “.. how I got here. I just wish I knew where we came from, you know?”

This was obviously the answer portion of the show.

“You mean like reincarnation?” (a topic of discussion last week)

“Yea.. sorta… but like where people came from. I wish we knew how we got here.”

How can he not know this at 10? Have I been that negligent that these basic concepts were left out?

“Honey .. we know where we came from. There has been lots and lots of science that tells us our history and how we got here.”

silence…. which, if you live with a ten year old boy who plays Minecraft and video games, you know this is not usually a positive reaction.

…. ?? hello?

And it dawned on me that he didn’t really want to seem out of the loop, but since it is a huge loop, more of a sphere, I delved into the very limited information I have on the topic. I was cursing myself for not paying more attention in Ancient Civilization in high school.

We talked about evolution. We talked about early humans. We talked about evolution and early humans. This somehow segwayed into a conversation about language. He wanted to know how language becomes established. Thankfully this I had slightly more information on based on having a near certification for Interpreting.

I explained how language is an ever-evoloving thing. There is no set permanent language because it’s constantly reflecting society.

Language is a result of the culture that establishes and uses it. Think about the word “Cold” or “snow”. Do you think Alaskans have more words used for that or Arizonians? We went on to discuss how the culture determines the usage and rules of a word.

He was still spinning on the fact that words are still being created. “Can I create a word?” “Only if you can find a massive group of people to all use it the same way you do, and then they influence and cause millions more to use it all in a common way.”

“Take ‘Selfie’ for example. This was not a word before smart phones. There were people flipping cameras around to take photos of themselves, yes. I was/am a master at this. It just didn’t have a name until people began using smart phones, apps, taking pictures of themselves en masse. Instead of always saying ‘I’m taking a picture of myself.’ it evolved down to just a single word. A word everyone uses for the same thing.”

We talked about how words get added to the dictionary every year because society and culture is always finding a new way to describe something. We talked about certain things being invented long ago that forever changed society. Fire. The wheel.

It was quite a cerebral conversation for a non-college educated mom and her ten year old son.

And this, my friends, is what can happen when you travel without an iPad. (because your son lost privileges due to behaving like a rabid beast every morning before school)

Don’t get me wrong, this conversation could have played out in a million ways. 999,998 of them being about Minecraft in one way or another. Also, I could have tuned in and out of whatever current story is being written in his brain. This one time it was educational and interesting and I actually found a topic I didn’t have to bullshit my way through entirely! SCORE!

 

Convos With My Kid

Published January 8, 2017 by sarcasmica

I’ve told this story out loud to a few friends, but I realize I better “write it down” before it’s completely lost in the ether and out of my brain forever.

The day after Christmas I took my son to Target to use a gift card
(Side note: Never rush to Target the day after Christmas in the hopes of finding anything on the shelf. It was and empty anti climactic exercise in futility)

Anyway, on the drive my son asks “Mom, why does the Christmas song say ‘you better not pout, you better not cry’? What’s so wrong with crying?”

Me in my head: Wow. Did that just come from my 10 year old? Ok, don’t eff this up, woman. Wake up! Answer the boy!
“Well that’s a really old song. Up until fairly recently the general consensus was that children should be seen and not heard. If a kid was crying, grown ups didn’t want to hear it. This was the case when I was a kid, too.”

Kid: “Hmm.. that seems really sad because then kids must have felt they couldn’t just be themselves.”

Me: “You’re right, that is pretty sad. Parents talking to their kids and asking about feelings and having conversations about what you want and feel is a fairly new concept, buddy. Do you think Grandma talked to me about feelings?”

“Uhh, no.”

“Because there weren’t open honest conversations, lots and lots of people grew up not talking about certain things because they didn’t want to make their parents angry. They had to hold in a lot of things. Think about all those kids who knew they were gay but couldn’t tell or were afraid to tell their families. There were a lot of kids who got kicked out of their house, people whose parents stopped speaking to them.”

“That’s really sad, mom. That must’ve been terrible for those kids. I can’t even imagine that.”

We went on to talk about why calling people ‘gay’ as a negative thing is not acceptable because of how brave and courageous people actually are. We also talked about how stifling these kinds of conversations can be and what it can lead to – depression, running away, etc etc.

Then my son asks, “Mom, so how were you able to be a different mom than your mom was?”

“Well, I took the things that I thought were really great and tried to do that, and the things I wanted to change for you and your sister I changed.”

“Mom, I’m really glad you changed some things.”

“Thanks, buddy. I’m glad I did too because we get to talk about this kind of stuff.”

And my mom heart yet again grew three sizes. This boy surprises me, challenges me and my patience, but his brain is a wonderful thing. Some say his challenges make our life hard and I have been known to call him ‘difficult’ and he is. But it’s moments like these that remind me it’s for a reason. Kids can be amazing.

It took taking a class to open my eyes to the need of communicating with my kids. While I can certainly appreciate the ‘seen and not heard’ mentality so much gets lost with that. I’ve been able to help my kid understand his body and mind better because we have conversations when lots of people think he should be left in a time out and ignored because “that’s the consequence”. I think this is especially necessary for kids with challenges and issues. My kid knows he has ADD, but he knows what that means. He takes medication for it, but he knows why, and he is part of the team that made the decision to do it.

Time outs and consequences do have their place, but only if you remember to help your kid through their feelings. Feelings are confusing and frustrating and hard to manage. Without a road map, how would anyone get anywhere? Think about how many adults are in counseling to handle feelings. I wonder what that looks like if you’re given some guidance early on as a lot of those feelings are forming. I am sure to be open about my own feelings in front of my kids. Do they make me cry with frustration and anger sometimes? Hell yes. Do I hide that? Hell no. “This is what it looks like when you treat people that way.” Do my husband and I have arguments? Yes. Do we still love each other? Yes. Is it okay to have different ideas and opinions and still have a great relationship with someone? Yes. I like to think my kids have seen this.

In the same way we show happiness and love, we also have to show anger and sadness. We have to be honest about being confused. We have to let them know mistakes are not exclusively a kid thing. There’s no shame in showing the kids your cracks…. wait, that came out totally wrong. Please don’t show children your crack. DO show them that your armor isn’t impenetrable. Strength is only dependable when you see what it grew from. Also, they know when you’re faking it. Don’t you remember being a kid and having to endure one of the countless “How is school going?” conversations and just knowing the grown ups that were faking it? Our own children are even smarter than we were, so give them credit for it.

Just remember, if all goes according to plan, these are the people that are making the decisions about your care and treatment when you’re an old fart. They will have their fingers on the cord when the doctor asks if it’s time to pull it.

(A note to my mother who I know reads this blog: This is in no way a knock on your parenting. You did what you knew how to do and I certainly do not find fault in the lack of “feelings talk”)  🙂

 

Squeaky Wheels

Published October 26, 2016 by sarcasmica

Today I get to brag a little. Today I got an awesome email from one of my son’s teachers saying he is now working at grade level math.

Grade level.

For anyone new to my drama asylum  blog, my son has never been at grade level. He has challenges associated with Dyspraxia including ADD and sensory issues. Last year we were shocked to find out he is above grade level at reading, but everything else – writing, comprehension, math – was below. At least one grade level. He has had an IEP (individual education plan) team since first grade and we’ve been at this school since 3rd grade. 3rd grade was not a good year. It was a crappy teacher, it was a new campus, new principal on campus, it was a hard transition. The team confronted me with testing results similar to a kid with ADHD before we had gone down the road of diagnosis. The teacher was pushing for outside homework help, and the principal flat out asked in front of the entire team after revealing the similarities between my kid and an ADHD kid if I was going to medicate him. Not a good start with me.

Fourth grade had a great teacher who was very encouraging, if overworked, slightly uninspired, but very compassionate and supportive.  My husband and I decided to tiptoe down the terrifying road of medication. After a year of one-on-one assistance for our son, he was still unable to focus and follow through. Since school help gets no better than one-on-one attention, we had to do something for him.

The medication road is a very bumpy, dark, judgy road riddled with potholes and caution signs. It became overwhelming and we felt defeated more than once. I found people who understood the path and asked questions, confided, and shared stories. It made it easier. It made it so that I could continue until we found the right formula. No one really explains how difficult it is to come to the decision only to find more road blocks and let downs with failed prescriptions and wrong dosage and suspicious side effects. You work so hard to be okay with allowing your child to become dependent on a synthetic drug that you can’t help but have immediate assumptions. When the first doesn’t work, you doubt. When the second doesn’t work, you worry and doubt.

We lucked out and did the work and stuck with the program until we found the right combination. Today was the payoff. Last week I asked the new teacher for an idea of how the year was going. Did he still need the aid in the morning to help him stay on track for the classroom routine? Was he still relying solely on the teacher to reinforce the task schedule? Was he still sitting idle if not directly prodded into doing something?

No. I was told he was a pleasure to have in class, he works alongside his peers, he was an independent fifth grader who was giving no indication of drowning.

This took a minute to sink in.

Today another teacher wrote a followup regarding his math work and how he now just works on the assignments the rest of the class gets at the same time. Along with writing tasks, what he rarely does not complete in class, he will take down to the support center but all classwork is at grade level.

This could not have come together at a more perfect time. He transitions to middle school next year and the thought of my kid keeping track of six different classrooms, six different subjects and work and teachers was/is terrifying. It’s less so now.

On the way out of school today we ran into his fourth grade teacher. I stopped and with my son beside me we told her, “He’s at grade level math now!” She appropriately praised him for his work but then turned to me after thanking her for her help last year and said, “You know who really helped him, right?” I responded, “Well, he’s done all the hard work.”  she smiled and just looked at me and said, “True. But you know who really made it happen for him? You did. The squeaky wheel gets the job done. You did a great job for him.”

I held back my initial answer of “medication” but that isn’t true either. She’s right. If you can get over the resentment and anger and frustration of having to fight for your kid in an arena where you really shouldn’t have to, good things can happen. If you can get through the humiliating, frustrating, heart-breaking meetings where all you are told is deficits and fight for everyone to see the positive and ability, you just might get through and effect change for your kid.

This is not to say he will never again struggle. He surely will. That’s what growing is all about. Now I have faith we can overcome the next struggle because he is a whole, confident, capable boy who has a team of people who have no choice but to believe in him.

 

 

The New (School) Year

Published October 13, 2016 by sarcasmica

My kid is going to be in middle school next year. When he was born, getting through the colic and the shaping helmet and physical therapy were all-consuming. I never thought we’d make it to 1 without a healthy dose of green skin and a penchant for brains.

But we did it.

When he was 2 and getting in trouble at daycare for biting, and the daily scene of trying to drop him off and experiencing the screaming abandonment horrifying sobs and screams I never thought we’d make it to preschool.

But we did

And in preschool when the teachers began the long road of meetings and conferences and concerned behavior charts and feedback, I thought I would never get him to kindergarten – against the preschool’s recommendation

But we did

And in Kindergarten, when the teacher had to break down his days to five and ten minute increments to find the positive reinforcement opportunities, I just began to think it was always going to be a struggle. We continued on through specialists – Speech, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy – learning centers, IEP teams, doctors, prescriptions, diagnosis, guilt, worry, anxiety.

School is one more road navigated by squeaky wheels and parent advocates when it comes to kids outside the box. Every year we start over. Every year the cheerleading begins again and all you want is for each teacher to see that yes, this kid means extra work. Yes, you are already overworked, yes you are not paid anywhere near your actual value. Every parent in that school believes that. But my kid will require you to work more. Work differently. Work outside the very narrow box the school board and district allow you, but as hard as it is for you, the parents have to do it year in and year out. You have my kid for one year. Take him, teach him, appreciate the way he learns because he will not be the only kid who will benefit. Whatever strategy you use – and there will be more than one – understand that you are responsible for the foundation of the rest of his educational life. Just waiting out the year with him in your class is a disservice to yourself, his friends, his family, and most of all him.

Every year we get to look at each other around a table and reassess the needs of my kid. I will push. I will question. I will even tear up and maybe cry a bit. I am tough for him, but I am not tough when it comes to him. I’m a marshmallow of a mom who just wants her kid to have a shot at being average. That’s right! I’m pushing for grade level, regular old average learning. I know how hard he has to work to attain that and I’m ok with that. He knows the value of taking care of his friends. He understands how to respect his teachers. He is a bright, original, eager science lover. He has an ear for music. He thoroughly enjoys P.E. (if you don’t expect him to run) He treasures recess with his best friend. He’s more than the multiple choice answer required by the state on tests he vaguely understands every single year.

But he’ll work for you if you give him the chance to. And here we go again fighting for the chance to let my kid just be a regular 5th grade boy who already has crushes, is a fantastic reader, and is discovering a love for writing.

Sponsored by: IBUPROFEN  🙂

Crashing Doors

Published May 15, 2016 by sarcasmica

A few weeks ago I wrote about ‘Sliding Doors’ and narrowly missing a terrible car accident when someone ran a red light through an intersection right in front of me.

Apparently some cosmic force felt cheated because Friday evening I was in a car accident with both of my kids.

Everyone is ok, thank God.

When I was about 9 I was in an accident with my mom. She was driving me to school in her little pickup with my bike in the back. Some woman turned left in front of us in a big sturdy OLDsmobile or Buick- same difference- and completely smashed in the front end of my mom’s truck, wrecking my bike in the back in the process. I blacked out. I do not at all remember anything about the impact. I remember waking up and seeing the damage and knowing we didnt have any money and how much harder this would make life for my mom. She dropped me off at school after and went to work.

Friday the 13th was the scene of my recent accident. I did not black out, but I have wanted to since.

I havent yet had a break down over it. Im sort of waiting for a wave of gratitude and terror to hit me, but it hasnt. Just aching and bruising continue to hold my attention.

Friday was gorgeous here in Washington. It was in the low 80’s. I had the top of my Jeep off for some sunshine and fresh air. After picking my son up from school with my daughter in tow, we headed for my chiropractor appointment. Driving down a 2 lane road, both kids occupied with a device, I was thinking about seeing a movie with my husband later that night when a big SUV decided to turn from the oncoming shoulder right in front of me.

Stereotypical slow motion happened. I saw it happen while my brain was saying, “What is this m-er f-er doing?!” I went back and forth between disbelief and complete understanding. “But my kids are in the back!” was a recurring thought. I knew they wouldnt know until it was too late, so I screamed. Their heads would be down looking at the screen, and I wanted them to somehow prepare for the impact. See it coming. Not get literally blindsided. 

My feet were already on the brake-both feet actually- and I tried to steer away from him but the nano second I realized there would be impact, I screamed. My mouth couldnt form any other words of warning in time for my kids.

And then impact happened. Hard crunching, bone jarring impact. Eyes wide open and seeing it all happen while unable to change what was about to occur is one of the most terrible feelings. Especially since it wasnt just me. 

The after effect was what I imagine a tornado to be like. The kids were screaming. I was shaking. My car was still on. The radio was going, the kids were now crying and screaming. 

It was this insane illogical mix of shattering noise and complete stillness. Deafening quiet. 

I checked we were all still in one piece. No blood. No injuries. Check.

Try to calm the kids from my seat..i hadnt yet moved. My son was yelling any bad word he could think of at the truck. My daughter soon followed suit.

My ears were ringing. I would need a phone. Shit. My daughter was holding mine when we hit…”can you reach it, honey? You sure you’re ok?”

My door was blocked by the SUV so I couldnt get out. 

“Huh..I seem to be trapped in the car..thats ok.”

The strange slow thoughts that run on a ticker tape across your brain when these catastrophes happen are surreal. I knew there must be a process of things I had to do, but I could not think. The kids were still screaming and crying.

Then the people started showing up. “Everyone ok?!” “Are the kids alright?!”

The guy that caused this nightmare walked past us holding his side. I wanted to jump out and scream, “What were you thinking?!?!!!” But I still couldnt manage to move much. Just shake.

A woman popped up on the passenger window and offered her witness info, but she was in a hurry. 

I had to figure out how to simultaneously get her info while calling someone for help and getting insurance info out.

“Did you call 911 yet?”

“No. I should do that first.” 

Someone already had called. Next I had to climb over to the passenger side to get out. That seemed to trigger my son to get out, and now my terrified 5yr old is the only one still inside. She is not happy about this, so i get her out. I hug and check the kids out, the fog is beginning to clear. All of these faces are so kindly offering help and assistance, but they are all over my kids. I just want everyone to back away for a minute!

They are mostly focused on my son who is on the verge of hyperventilating. They all seem to expect him to calm down. 

“He has adhd. Its going to take some time.”

This seemed to be a key in having people slow down. A woman who lives nearby happens to be a search & rescue volunteer so she stayed with the kids while I spoke with the sherriff.

As a mother, it was very alien and difficult to watch someone from a distance help my kids after something so huge just rocked our world. I wanted to just sit down on the ground in a huddle with them until everyone was clear, but I had to talk with the sherriff. I had to produce documents. Also, we were on a dirt driveway and there were ants. I had to call my husband.

There’s a call you dont want to screw up. “Hey babe! Sorry to interrupt your day, I just plowed into someone. Ok, byeeeeee!”

No, definitely not the right lingo.

So it went more like, *pickup pickup pickup* 

Hubbz: “Hey, whats up?”

Me: “Everyone is ok. We were in a car accident, and we are ok. But i need you to come now.”

From there it was all just chaos. Hot, sweaty, scared, confused chaos. I felt like I had to really thank all the strangers that came to our aid. I didnt want to offend anyone by not accepting help. We had a very nice man offer to take my kids into his house out of the sun and give them drinks..

Huh? I dont know you! Of course you cant take my kids into your house without me. Our world just got flipped on its head, man! 

But i said, “ok, thank you” and we all stayed put. Later I went with them into his house and got some water. Unfortunately he also invited the accident causer in for a drink. Talk about awkward! I just hoped my kids wouldnt scream, “you’re an idiot!!” at him…but they  wouldnt have been wrong. The man’s house we were in had two big dogs. 

That I could wrap my brain around. One was a service dog, he assured me. The dogs were very calming. I wanted to bring them both with us everywhere. My husband showed up, checked the kids, then blessedly went to finish up with the cops. The other driver went to make phone calls on the porch. He asked twice if the kids were ok and made sure no one was hurt.

My daughter’s seat belt bruise started to show up. The firemen checked us out, but nothing serious to report. Thank God. (Another recurring chant throughout it all) 

We were able to drive the Jeep home, but my husband reported that the brakes were failing and we need to get it towed.

I am so relieved we didnt hit that SUV with the minivan we had traded for the Jeep. I know it would have been safe, but it would have been a smashed wreck hitting that truck at 30/35 mph. There surely would have been a lot more damage to scare my kids. My son seemed focused on a lack of shattered glass and also he was certain the cars were about to explode.

It has taken my son some time to talk about it. My daughter wants to talk nonstop about it. Me, I just want to sleep. All these new aches and pains keep popping up and I just want to sleep for a week. My neck/shoulders hurt the most and i’ve been dizzy. We will see what tomorrow brings as far as new ailments. I’m happy to take it if it means my kids dont have to feel it.

I know I have some strong-willed and powerful guardian angels watching out for us and Im thankful we all walked away from that crash. Now I’m going to sleep. 

Mine is the top, his is the bottom

Genes

Published April 1, 2016 by sarcasmica

In life, we sometimes have to learn the same lesson over and over again. As a parent, I have had to learn lessons repeatedly. For instance; sympathy goes a long way with your kids; hugs are required, not requested. And the whopper: These little humans that I made actually resemble me on a genetic level.

My son is the image of his father. From the time he was a newborn people were confused by my relation to him. He was a fair skinned, silver-haired, lean, blue-eyed baby. I’m a dark haired, brown-eyed, tan robust woman. One person actually suggested I dye my hair so that I would resemble my child.

Given that, it isn’t always at the forefront of my brain that my son might take after me in some areas. After all, I failed to score a left handed kid with either child so what else could possibly get passed down?

This week I was taught yet another lesson by my child- moods matter. For my son moods matter a lot. I have been playing around with my hormone schedule this week. Coincidentally, my son has been an exhausting nightmare challenge all week. I have felt like our only interactions have involved yelling, giving directions, arguing, demands, and making meals. To add insult to injury I’ve had emails from his teachers about how great he did at school all week. Best week ever, in fact.

Last night I decided to scrap the whole hormone schedule and I went back to taking them.

Today began with markedly less anger and arguing… then it hit me- moods. I have always been sensitive to moods around me – friends, parents, siblings – I am an emotional comrade good or bad. As an adult I’m more cold-hearted so the only mood I match is my husband’s, but it dawned on me that my son has this same quality and always has.

Children pick up on moods, yes. My daughter knows when best to tiptoe near me and when she can be a little more carefree. She is a greatly sympathetic child and always just wants to help. My son, however, will simply mirror my moods and emotions. This is frustrating in the honesty of it all. It often makes me question if the venom that sometimes comes out of his mouth is a carbon copy of my own language. It is not, in fact, but it’s his language used to process the emotions he’s mirroring in his mom, dad, and grandma.

I don’t know if that makes sense or not. Here’s an example of how I experience it for myself: Currently I am sitting at my computer. My husband is at his in the same room. He is doing bills. This makes the air tense already. No biggie. If he has an issue with his keyboard, however, he tends to punch his keys, slam his keyboard, and curse.  I immediately feel that rage and my body is shaky and tense and I subconsciously hold my breath. My body is tense, and so when a kid wanders in with “Mom? Mom. Mom! Momomomomom” during this tornado I will respond with the opposite of love and patience.

I don’t just get annoyed with my husband for not controlling his temper. I don’t just feel annoyance on his behalf, I am as affected by his mood as he is, but my feelings are directed at him instead of his keyboard.

I have a feeling that muddled it up even more. Anyway, this revelation came to me that my son has this same ability/curse. So now i’m not only responsible for what I teach him, model for him, guide him, but i’m also responsible for taking on his emotional mirroring when i’m already in a shitty mood.

Lesson learned? If you are medicating your child for mood and stimuli control, be goddamn sure you yourself are taking your own medication if he happens to even minutely express an Empath’s intuition.

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